The VIA KT600 chipset was released quite a long time ago. Since its announcement we have already reviewed two KT600-based mainboards: ASUS A7V600 and MSI KT6 Delta (see our ASUS A7V600 Mainboard on VIA KT600 Chipset Review and MSI KT6 Delta-FIS2R Mainboard on VIA KT600 Chipset Review for more details).
The two mainboards performed differently and were not very similar to one another. However, they did have a common trait. They were both redesigned versions of KT400 and KT400A-based mainboards from ASUS and MSI, just adapted for another chipset. Their PCBs were practically identical to the PCBs of the products on the KT400(A). The reason is simple – the North Bridges of the KT400(A) and the KT600 are pin-compatible, while the wiring for the South Bridges (VT8235 and VT8237) is not too different to require a total redesign. Mainboard makers are willing to go for any cost-saving measures under current market conditions, so it’s rather natural for mainboards on the KT400(A) and KT600 chipsets to be so much alike.
Still, there are exceptions to the rule. The well-known ABIT Company decided to stand out on this transition from the KT400(A) to the KT600. We posted once on our site the review of ABIT’s KT400A-based mainboard (KD7-S), which was actually the same as the KD7-S on the KT400 chipset. It seemed like ABIT refused to release a mainboard on the KT400A. Suddenly, the company’s policy changed and we saw the KD7A mainboard on the KT400A chipset. This product appeared unannounced and had no trace of the KT400-based mainboard about itself. And this mainboard was to become the foundation for the ABIT KV7, which is based on the KT600 chipset. That’s about how it is.
I should admit that ABIT is known for non-standard actions, although they are not always a success among the users. For example, the MAX series mainboards, which didn’t have the legacy ports (COM, LPT and PS/2), were rather coldly received by the market. The KV7 is not trying to be a revolution, but its very difference from the previous products might be not good. So, the hero of our today’s review is the KV7 mainboard from ABIT.